The Grey Cardigan 21.10.05 - Press Gazette

The Grey Cardigan 21.10.05

They’ve taken away our teapot. It was there when we slouched home
yesterday evening, but by this morning it had disappeared.

A big,
battered, aluminium 10-pinter it was, insides tarnished by decades of
Typhoo and tannin, and the provider of millions of gallons of fuel for
flagging subs.

A frantic search was brought abruptly to a halt by
the ping of an incoming email from the autocratic and frankly quite
scary People Centre (human resources in a cloak of selfserving piety).

Our teapot had been removed on health and safety grounds.

the reckless act of carrying a gallon of milky, sweet brew from the
kitchen to the subs’ desk was potentially life-threatening and must be
stopped forthwith. Heavens only knows how we hadn’t scalded each other
to death before now.

We are now left with a machine that steals
your money and occasionally delivers an indeterminate warm liquid from
the same spout that serves up tomato soup and hot chocolate. Now that
can’t be right, can it?

The troops are unhappy. In retribution, page one was 13 minutes late.

HERE IS the running order of a recent issue of a national newspaper. It is your job to guess which.

1: TV licence fee could hit £200. Page 3: Full page on Marks &
Spencer fashions with panels on three shoppers’ experiences. Page 5:
Burberry to take legal action against firm making scarves for ferrets,
with picture of ferret dressed in offending item. Page 7: Young female
geography teacher in court for “snogging” 15-year-old pupil, with
picture of attractive 24-year-old teacher and pointless pixellated
picture of boy. Page 9: Weather story about flooding illustrated, for
some reason, with large picture of two pretty girls standing in a field
of poppies. Page 11: The 10 ugliest cars.

Now that’s not a bad
run of right-handers. I know many news editors who would sleep soundly
if they had that list in the bag. So which esteemed publication was it?
The Sun, the Star or even the Mirror?

Step forward that bastion
of excellence, the beefed-up, relaunched Daily Telegraph, the editor of
which was recently quoted as saying that his strategy was to “stay
quality and milk everything we can out of being the last broadsheet in
the market”. Hmm.

And seeing as the Curse of the Cardigan has
already struck down one national newspaper diarist, we won’t even
mention that silly young girl in the strappy dress and her vapid

DAILY Mail didn’t get where it is today by misjudging its readers, but
its mean-spirited treatment of Ronnie Barker’s demise – claiming he
died of a broken heart after his allegedly paedophile son went on the
run – apparently didn’t play too well in Middle England.

insider tells me that the switchboard lit up and the letters of
complaint flooded in. Which may explain why the subsequent report of
his funeral was (ahem) buried at the bottom of page 13, with no mention
of the runaway son or the eight policemen waiting at the crematorium to
nick him should he turn up.

NOTE TO an unnamed TV news
organisation. When asking viewers to “dig deep” for victims of the
Pakistan earthquake, try not to have videotape running in the
background showing frantic rescuers tearing at the rubble with their
bare hands.

Thank you.

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